Ernakulam (AsiaNews) - Dismissed without a pension; that is the fate of Professor TJ Joseph, who was accused of blasphemy for a text on Mohammed and whose hand was cut off last July 4 by unknown assailants. The administration of Newman College, announced the measure, which was not directly related to accusations of blasphemy by Muslim brought against the teacher by Popular Front of India extremists.
According to the official announcement, the dismissal takes effect from 1 September and is derived "from having offended the religious sentiments of students”. There has been no protest by Christian institutions in the country, despite them having joined forces three days ago to condemn the proposal of an American evangelical pastor who wanted to celebrate 9 / 11 by burning the Koran. Informed of the decision, the professor said: "This is another unexpected blow to me and my family. However I have not thought about legal action against the college. His sister, Sister Mary Stella, tells AsiaNews: "The letter was sent to us by a messenger. I had to open it, because my brother is still in serious condition. He asked me to reread it twice; he could not believe the last paragraph which emphasizes that along with the dismissal he will also be stripped of all benefits and his pension. No one would ever expect such a hard decision. "
The nun says that, in the educational system of the state, "there are 7 different types of disciplinary punishments. They chose the hardest against my brother, no pension, no benefits, no nothing. As if he had never worked. It is very sad, because he spent a lifetime in education, at least 25 years. However, after having prayed together, he said that like Job, God gives and God takes away. But His name must always be glorified. "
"We forgive college - she adds - as we forgive those who cut off his hand. He has also received much support from civil society and his own colleagues: This dismissal has sparked more solidarity than the hand cutting. Today is the feast of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and the Day of teachers in India: my brother reminded me how the Blessed was also a great teacher, who served the poor by giving them love and dignity. The Mother is a source of great consolation and hope for Professor Joseph”.
The teacher has told some visitors that he looks at his situation with optimism: "It is certainly Mother Teresa who has given him courage, love of God in his hearts and in our lives. There is a mission behind these incidents, the cutting off of his hand and dismissal. We were supported and nourished by love of God through Mother Teresa. My brother feels called to be an instrument of understanding, peace and tolerance in the dialogue between Christians and Muslims. In Kerala and around the world. "